An Aspect where Public must go Private

In this aspect, the public must start going private...

Corruption and red tape may be the more prominent ills plaguing governance today, but it is the incompetence of some key personnel in the bureaucracy that creates greater public dissatisfaction and distrust in the government. Owing to working conditions in the public sector, government agencies have been hounded with an inability to attract the so-called “best and the brightest.” Often, the lure to work in government emanates from the pleasing sweetheart deals that usually come “under the table.” Quality, indeed, comes with a cost.

Assuming that a potential worker is professional and upright in his desire to look for a job, a career opportunity in the public sector is less appealing due to the following reasons:

1.    The compensation packages in the private sector are significantly higher than those offered in the public sector. While several bonuses and allowances are provided government employees, these fall way below the incentives offered to private sector workers. Moreover, it takes light years before a government employee gets promoted to a higher rank with a higher salary bracket. In the private sector, moving up the scale is usually dependent on one’s performance and contribution to the company’s piggy bank.

2.    The opportunity for professional growth in the public sector, particularly in terms of ethics and good practices, are hampered by negative behaviors exhibited by some ageing and inutile employees. The culture in public sector work is often shaped by old-timers who often get by with doing their make-up, going to the malls, running personal errands, and chit-chatting during office hours. A lot of people and organizations who transact with some agencies can attest to this. On the other hand, the attitude and work ethic of a private sector employee is considered as key criteria in evaluating his or her performance. An employee’s performance evaluation is used as basis to determine whether one gets an increase, bonus, or a promotion. In short, the carrot-and-stick approach is not evident in the public sector.

3.    The “Padrino and Palakasan” systems are clearly part of the culture in most government offices.

Career growth in the public sector does not often depend on the ability of one to perform but largely lies on one’s drive to be in the ear of the bosses. Most fresh graduates in government positions, who come mostly from the country’s premiere State Universities and Colleges, are disillusioned and dissuaded from performing their jobs well due to these observations. Given these realizations, most of them tend to resign within a year and shift their focus instead towards private sector work. Now, some of them are top private sector executives.

There are continuous efforts being exerted to make joining government service appealing to the labor force. However, these have hardly piqued the interest of applicants, particularly the most competent and skilled ones in the market.

This now brings the need for the government to re-engineer the bureaucracy. To do this, there has to be a restructuring of the entire Human Resource System in Philippine Government in order to generate an interest in working for them.

Human capital is every organization’s greatest asset, thus investments should be made to ensure that there is a proper culture and environment that facilitates employees’ career and professional growth. This is a practice in the private sector that the public sector must emulate.

In this aspect, the public must start going private.

About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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